November 1, 2007
Terps have reason to smile
The Maryland women's basketball team has never had so much fun in defeat. The Terrapins faded in the second half of a 90-73 exhibition game loss to the U.S. National Team, but the score was secondary to the experience gained playing the best the game has to offer.
Maryland had plenty to smile about following the game, including a 35-31 rebounding advantage, the play of Laura Harper, who battled the National Team's post players with vigor, and an impressive debut by a highly regarded freshmen class.
"Everybody has to be on cloud nine right now, despite the outcome," Kristi Toliver said. "We had a ton of fun. This is the most fun I've ever had playing in a basketball game."
Playing against a U.S. National Team with a roster that reads like a "Who's Who" of recent women's college basketball greats - Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Lisa Leslie - Terps coach Brenda Frese was pleased with her team's effort.
"I just loved how we came out and competed, our energy and our enthusiasm," Frese said. "It was tremendous to see how we competed against the best team in the country."
Maryland played without All-American Crystal Langhorne and Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood, both out with injuries, but competed on even terms for the first 20 minutes.
The Terps, led by Harper, played an outstanding first half, trailing just 40-38 at the break. After falling behind 16-8 and shaking off early nerves, the Terps found a rhythm.
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